Canucks drop 3-2 overtime 'heartbreaker' to Sharks, now down 2-0 in series (with video)
'We have to regroup here,' says Vancouver's Ryan Kesler after mighty performance goes for naught
Vancouver Canucks star Ryan Kesler looks up at the scoreboard after scoring his second goal of the game against the San Jose Sharks in the third period of Game 2 of their NHL Western Conference quarter-final series at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Friday, May 3, 2013.
Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann, PNG
VANCOUVER — To put a new twist on an old song title, the Vancouver Canucks do know the way to San Jose.
It's just doesn't figure to be a fun trip.
The Canucks are heading to the Silicon Valley down 2-0 in their best-of-seven opening-round playoff series with the San Jose Sharks after a devastating 3-2 overtime loss Friday night at Rogers Arena.
Game 3 of the series goes Sunday night in San Jose (7 p.m., TSN, Team 1040) and the Canucks now have a very high mountain to climb. The Sharks lost only two games in regulation at home all season.
Former Canuck Raffi Torres scored the winner at 5:31 of extra time on a 2-on-1 rush with Brent Burns.
"Burns made an unbelievable play," said Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. "He was holding it and faking it and I was trying to stay patient with him and he ended up just feeding it across for a one-timer and Raffi put it upstairs. It was a good play by them.
“It’s a tough loss, a heartbreaker, but that's what playoffs are all about.”
The Sharks got that 2-on-1 rush after Vancouver defenceman Alex Edler had his shot from the left point blocked.
For the Canucks, this will be the game that got away. Less than a minute away from evening the series after two third-period goals by Ryan Kesler had given them a 2-1 lead, the Canucks surrendered a goal in the final minute of the third period.
With goalie Antti Niemi pulled for an extra attacker, the Sharks got the equalizer at 19:04 of the third. Patrick Marleau tapped in his own rebound after his initial shot trickled through the pads of Luongo.
Seconds earlier, Vancouver winger Jannik Hansen slid a shot just wide of the San Jose empty net.
"We just have to regroup here," said Kesler. "We have to regroup and focus on Game 3. Tomorrow we are going to learn from this and move on."
But this figures to a difficult loss to park and move on from.
"We have to, we have to move on and we got to get Game 3. Game 3 is a must-win," Kesler said. "We have to go in their building and play the same way and I like our chances."
Kesler tied the game 59 seconds into the third period on a Vancouver power play. He took a pass from Henrik Sedin just inside the blue line, right in the middle of the ice, and wired a shot over the glove of Niemi.
Kesler then gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead seven minutes later after a bad giveaway by San Jose defenceman Dan Boyle.
Boyle's attempt to clear the puck was tipped by Joe Pavelski and went directly to Kesler in the high slot. Kesler ripped a slap shot past Niemi's stick side to give the Canucks the lead.
It looked like the Canucks were going to get that home-ice split they desperately needed, but Marleau's goal gave the Sharks life. And with Canuck blood in the water, they finished the job in overtime.
"It's obviously a tough loss," said Vancouver defenceman Jason Garrison. "We have to learn from our mistakes and put it behind us and make sure we are putting forth the same effort and a little bit more for Game 3."
The Canucks were much better Friday night than they were in Wednesday night's opener, which the Sharks won 3-1.
But they still continue to give up far too many blue-chip chances in their own end. Luongo kept them in the game in the first period when the Sharks had several excellent opportunities.
"We played the game we wanted to, for sure," Garrison said. "Our forwards did a good job of banging bodies down low and once we started putting pucks on net we created a lot of stuff down low."
The Canucks had lots of energy to start the first period and seemed to have the Sharks on their heels. But Vancouver had no finish and had trouble getting shots on Niemi.
The Sharks slowly took over and grabbed a 1-0 lead at the 13:22 mark when Joe Thornton scored off a scramble in front of Luongo. The play started when a point shot by San Jose defenceman Brad Stuart was blocked in front. Thornton managed to get his stick on the loose puck and swept it into the net.
Earlier in the period, Luongo made huge saves on TJ Galiardi, Marleau and Stuart to keep the Canucks in the game.
Vancouver was outshot 10-4 in the period and didn't have a shot in the final 9:55 of the period.
Thornton missed a glorious chance to make it 2-0 two minutes into the second period when he rang a shot from in close off the post with Luongo out of position.
The Canucks got lots of shots in the second period, but again, no goals. Niemi made big saves on Alex Burrows on a 2-on-1 rush, Daniel Sedin, Garrison and Andrew Ebbett on another 2-on-1 rush in the first seven minutes of the period.
Luongo made the save of the night on Torres midway through the second when he dove across the crease to rob the San Jose winger after he had received a back-door pass from Brent Burns.
Torres got his revenge in overtime.
ICE CHIPS: Torres replaced the injured Martin Havlat and moved up to skate on a line with Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau. Andrew Desjardins joined Pavelski and Tommy Wingels on San Jose's third line. Tim Kennedy drew into the lineup on the fourth line with James Sheppard and Adam Burish … The Canucks made no lineup changes.
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